Minister renews assurances of Melamchi water

KATHMANDU: A hope still exists that the residents of Kathmandu Valley would be able to use the water from Melamchi of Sindhupalchok district within one and half years.

While briefing the Environment Conservation Committee of the Legislature-Parliament about the drinking water situation of the country, Minister for Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, Prem Bahadur Singh, said, "Melamchi is now not a dream, and also not an imagination. It is the reality."

Minister Singh said that high-grade technologies and human resources have been mobilised to accelerate the Melamchi project.

The project had got popularity all of sudden after the then Prime Minister, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, who had taken the leadership of the government after the restoration of the democracy in 1991, announced that that water from Melamchi would be brought to Kathmandu to meet drinking water needs of the Valley.

Out of the 27.5-kilometre tunnel of the project, only 16 kilometres of the stretch have been constructed. As many as 35 metres of the tunnel are being constructed daily on an average.

The government said that task related to tunnel would be completed within a year if the construction work would move ahead at this pace.

Minister Singh said, "Water could be brought to Kathmandu Valley after finishing the remaining task following the completion of the task related to the tunnel. So, Kathmandu folks can use the drinking water within one and half years."

Officiating Secretary at the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Tej Ram Bhatta, said that the government had the target of providing access of 1.2 million people throughout the country to safe drinking water within the next two years.